After an early exit at Wimbledon Maria Sharapova announced that she was parting company with long-time coach Thomas Hogstedt and would be working with Jimmy Connors going forward. Connors seemed to have just what Sharapova needed to overcome her nemesis Serena Williams… Incredible tennis knowledge and mental toughness as illustrated throughout his playing career over more than 2 decades, with 5 straight years as World No. 1, and eight Grand Slam singles titles.
“His philosophy is there’s no substitute for hard work. He certainly emphasizes that in every single practice.”At this stage of my career, no one’s going to come in and change something drastically. But his experience and work ethic are priceless. It’s been nice.” Said Sharapova.
However, it seems there must have been some king of personality clash, as after just one match with Connors in charge (loss to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati), it seems that the partnership is over. Connors was seen shaking his head several times while courtside as Sharapova lost in an error-strewn performance and subsequently made a quick exit from the grounds.
The split will leave Sharapova without a coach going into the US Open in a couple of weeks and the barrage of negative publicity is just what she doesn’t need as she tries to turn he current dip in form around.